Take a trip to the capital through history in the footsteps of Lincoln and beyond
Just minutes from the hotel, take a break to appreciate the shrine where Lincoln spent many Sunday mornings, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Her compassionate and inclusive spirit is alive and well in this place of worship, a member congregation of More Light, a network to “empower and equip individuals and congregations to live in their welcome for LGBTQIA + people”. The church voted to join this network in 1998 “to advocate for the full inclusion of LGBTQ + people in the world and in the church”. (Currently, the church is under construction and is expected to reopen in fall 2021.)
A few more minutes of travel and you’ll arrive at the Lincoln Memorial, the breathtaking open-air temple in honor of the 16th President. Welcoming around 4 million visitors a year, the memorial is presided over by a 19-foot seated statue of Lincoln, carved from white Georgia marble. According to the American Institute of Architects, this is the 7th most beloved example of American architecture.
Lincoln was a tall man, and rightly so, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, located on the National Mall directly east of the Lincoln Memorial, is another expansive tribute to the titanic figure. It is bordered by hiking trails and shaded by a long elm promenade on either side. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, it offers a dramatic reflection of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, elm trees and / or the sky. Although not completed in time for the Lincoln Memorial’s inauguration in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool has become an almost equally iconic – and frequently filmed – feature of the DC landscape.
While at the National Mall, take the time to honor another American hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The 32nd President of the United States is almost as universally revered as Abraham Lincoln, and FDR was just as articulate. the South Dakota red granite walls of the memorial. Among the voices is that of his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt: “Franklin’s illness… gave him strength and courage he hadn’t had before. He had to reflect on the fundamentals of life and learn the greatest of all lessons: endless patience and endless perseverance. ”
Respect should also be paid to the nearby Washington Monument. Built to honor George Washington, the monument is a 555-foot marble obelisk that casts a shadow over the neighborhood named in honor of the first President of the United States. Construction began in 1848, and the monument has survived numerous restorations; it remains one of the most distinctive features of the DC skyline.
Once upon a time, over 300 acres of the National Mall were populated only with statues of white men. Today the landscape encompasses a much more diverse group of American heroes. Example: the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Dedicated to Veterans Day in 1993, the one-ton bronze sculpture is a tribute to the 265,000 women who served during the Vietnam era; American military women served as nurses, doctors, air traffic controllers, communications specialists, and intelligence officers. It is the first statue in the mall to represent military women. A multi-figure monument, it was designed by New Mexico sculptor Glenna Goodacre, who says the statue’s focus “centers on their emotions – their compassion, anxiety, fatigue, and most importantly, their dedication.” .